“Intellectual formation contributes to spiritual formation. The study of the traditions of faith and the experiences of faith among the saints and the people of God serves to deepen one’s own spiritual journey.” (Program of Priestly Formation, 113)
A man with little or no previous college experience would complete a traditional four year Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, while men who have already earned a Bachelor’s degree from another accredited academic institution would complete a two year program of study known as as Pre-Theology.
Philosophy studies include subjects such as the history of ancient, medieval, and contemporary philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and logic, in addition to ancient and modern languages and other subjects and electives. “The study of philosophy is fundamental and indispensable to the structure of theological studies and to the formation of candidates for the priesthood. It is not by chance that the curriculum of theological studies is preceded by a time of special study of philosophy.” (PPF 152)
Following the philosophical studies, either as a college degree or in pre-theology, seminarians study four years of theology, including subjects such as Sacred Scripture, Trinitarian Theology, Christology, Pneumatology, Ecclesiology, Moral Theology, Liturgy and the Sacraments, Church History, Canon Law, and Homiletics.